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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Tradition Gesso to FiberglassApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2019-04-21 15:07:33 ... Most recent comment 2019-04-22 23:13:52
    Animal Glue Rigid Supports Sizes and Adhesives Art Conservation Topics Egg Tempera

    ​One more panel and traditional gesso question:
    I was recently given a sample of honeycomb aluminum faced with fiberglass. I applied 4 coats of traditional gesso and after a week of dry time did a cross-hatch adhesion test. The adhesion seemed good. Anyone have experience with these materials? I don't know how fiberglass registers wil best practices but it seems like a potential solution for egg tempera paintings at a larger scale. Thanks in advance! - eli

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​I am assuming that the panel was faced with woven fiberglass fabric and not a fiberglass panel. I have not tested this as an interleaf but it would seem reasonable. I have sent your question to a few others to see if they have experience with this combination.

    Brian Baade
    2019-04-21 22:01:52
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    Thanks for looking into this Brian, ​It's hard to describe but it may be more of a fiberglass panel face. It appears the honeycomb aluminium core is not faced with a thin sheet of aluminium, rather just the fiberglass which is a millimeter or so thick, rigid, and I can see a kind of small hexagon weave through it...

    2019-04-22 15:12:55
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​That sounds more like G-10. If that is what it is, I would not recommend that for a substrate for gesso. I can't be positive without looking at it. Is the panel a greenish-cream color?

    Brian Baade
    2019-04-22 16:59:37
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​We do not have any direct experience with this material but can see that some very reputable panel makers, like Simon Lui, do provide an aluminum honeycomb panels with a fiberglass facing:

    And it seems like a common material made for various commercial applications. A search on Google for "honeycomb aluminum faced with fiberglass" brings up a host of links.

    The fact that the traditional gesso passed a cross-hatch adhesion test is promising but can sometimes give a false read on powdery surfaces like plaster, and I would assume traditional gesso, as the tape might not have a very strong grab on the surface and a microfilm of "dust" could be lifting off with it, leaving the material underneath intact. So you want to at least inspect the tape very carefully to see if there is any residue from the gesso on the underside.  But certainly if it seems solidly on there and not easily scratched or lifted off, that bodes well. Alternatively you could adhere muslin to the surface first to provide a strong connection. The muslin could likely be adhered with hide glue, if you wanted to stay with traditional materials. If you did that, I would check its adhesion by seeing how easily the fabric can be pulled off once fully dried.

    Hope that helps.

    Sarah Sands, Senior Technical Specialist, Golden Artist Colors
    2019-04-22 17:06:10
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    There are three main types of resins used today with carbon fiber, fiberglass, and Aramid (Kevlar). These are epoxy, vinylester, and polyester resins. The only issue I can find with fiberglass composites, is that without knowing what resin was used, it is difficult to provide an answer on how it ages. There are many studies of epoxy-fiberglass composites, but not many of vinylester, and polyester resins. The epoxy-fiberglass composites exhibited fiber-matrix debonding and loss of certain physical properties. Keep in mind most of the studies were accelerated and natural aging for outdoor exposure.

    The climate-resistance (aging mechanisms) of polymer-matrix composites is determined by the resin and adsorption of fiber on the interface. In most cases, composite materials show good weather-resistance. More specifically, their resistance to thermal oxidative aging is better as compared to the resistance to UV aging and hygrothermal aging. 

    It is not clear how this translates to works of art, but epoxy resin fiber matrices may provide a good support for art.

    George O'Hanlon
    2019-04-22 18:00:17
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​If this is an epoxy infused fiberglass panel (like G-10 or F r4) and you attempt to apply a tradition glue ground to this panel, I would really rough it up with sandpaper to provide a good mechanical tooth. It would probably be a good idea to use a rougher grade of sandpaper (100-150) as compared with the 320 used for the polyester coatings on ACM panels. Make sure to at least wear a dust mask and sand the panel in a place that can be easily cleaned or outside as the dust will contain fiberglass which should not be breathed.

    Brian Baade
    2019-04-22 18:21:03
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Thanks Brian, George, Sarah,

    Sarah, indeed the sample panel I recieved was from Simon Liu. Brian, if you follow Sarah's link you will see an image of the panel which is indeed a greenish-cream color. For the record, I lightly sanded and then adhered some heavy linen to the fiberglass face with Lineco PVA adhesive and let it dry under pressure overnight. Another 24 hours later I can tear the linen off the face fairly easily but the adhesion issue does not seem to be with the fiberglass: the glue and even some linen scraps are stuck to the face. - Eli

    2019-04-22 23:13:52

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